It feels like there has been so much going on lately but it really hasn’t. Still there has been little time left over for blogging the last week. I guess it has to do with the weather getting better and us spending more time outside and less time inside. Also I sit in front of the computer all day at work so I don’t particular want to do it at night too. Plus with me doing four boot camp sessions a week there really isn’t much time left over in the day after dinner has been cooked and eaten. The little time left over I rather spend with Simon than in front of the computer blogging so you just have to be happy with the updates you get. But I can happily announce that I’ve already received both my Victorian drivers license and my Medicare card. Both of them arrived in the end of last week so it took around a week for both of them.
Archive for Move to Australia
Det rullar på nu med att organisera allt praktiskt. Jag fick äntligen mitt bankkonto ordnat och mitt bankkort i posten nu i veckan. Så nu kan min lön äntligen gå direkt in på mitt konto istället för på Simons. Känns så skönt att få bli lite självständig igen. Igår ordnade jag ju mitt australiensiska körkort och idag har jag lämnat in min ansökan till Medicare.
Medicare är den statliga delen av det australiensiska sjukförsäkringssystemet, ungefär motsvarande svenska landstinget, som ger gratis (eller i vissa fall subventionerad) grundläggande sjukvård till alla australiensiska medborgare. Dessutom subventionerer Medicare även kostnader för receptbelagd medicin. Akutsjukvård, tandläkarbesök, optikerbesök etc omfattas inte av Medicare och inte heller besök på något av alla privatsjukhus som finns i Australien. Därför är det viktigt att du som resenär även har en bra reseförsäkring när du kommer till Australien och om du är bosatt här är det bra att komplettera din Medicare med en privat sjukvårdsförsäkring för att täcka en del av dessa kostnader.
Som turist har du inte rätt att registrera dig hos Medicare om du inte tillhör ett av de 10 länderna som Australien har ett ömsesidigt hälsovårdsavtal med (Reciprocal Health Care Agreement). Sverige är ett av de länderna vilket gör att jag därmed har rätt till Medicare och allt jag behövde göra för att registrera mig var att fylla i en ansökan och gå till mitt närmaste Medicare kontor med mitt pass och mitt visum och lämna in ansökan. Om ca 3 veckor kommer mitt Medicarekort på posten.
I must admit getting my Australian drivers license was both less stressful and a hell of a lot cheaper than me or Simon getting our Swedish ones. Application handed in and approved on the spot and for $170 they gave me a licence valid for the next 10 years. My actual license will be in the mail in 5-10 working days. Sweet!
I finally have an appointment at Vic Roads to get my Victorian drivers license sorted tomorrow. I’m not really obliged to get a Victorian license since I’m only here on a temporary visa and I can continue to drive on my Swedish license provided that it’s accompanied by an approved translation. But given that my Swedish license doesn’t work as an approved form of identification (since it’s all in Swedish and noone understands what it says) and I have to carry my passport around I thought it would be a good idea.
Another reason for it being a good idea is because of the Australian ID point system. Most legal transactions require some form of identification, applying for our appartment for example did. In some cases, at least 100 points of ID is required. Certain documents will get you a fictive number of points, the more reliable the ID the more points you will get. A driver’s license is a form of secondary document and will give you 40 points. A primary document such as a passport will give you 70 points. But back to the driver’s license.
Sweden is, as I’ve written about earlier (HERE), considered to be a recognised country meaning that Australia approve of our drivers license testing standards. Therefore we (the Swedes) don’t have to take any tests, all we have to do is to make an appointment with Vic Roads, go there and apply for a Victorian license. And that’s exactly what I’m doing tomorrow! The downside to the story is that all Vic Roads’ offices only are open during regular work hours so I have to take half a day off work to be able to make the appointment.
För ett par månader sedan kom jag i kontakt med Anders som driver sajten Swedes i Australia. Swedes in Australia är tänkt att hjälpa andra Australien-intresserade svenskar att förstå hur det funkar att resa och bo i Australien, samt att göra det lättare för oss Australiensvenskar att hitta och lära känna varandra. Anders har bott många år i Australien och han har samlat all sin oväderliga kunskap i en omfattande guidebok – Stora Australienmanualen. När jag hittat lite ledig tid har jag ägnat mig åt att läsa igenom manualen och äntligen kommer här en recension av innehållet.
It has now been 22 days since I applied for my Tax File Number and there is still no sign of it. It’s frustrating and annoying at the same time. I mean it can’t be that hard to create it, can it? I had no clue what a Tax File Number even was or why I needed one so I assume there are more people out there that don’t know either. So let me enlighten you with this little guide.
What is a Tax File Number (TFN)?
Your TFN is a unique number the government give you to help them manage tax and other government services. Since Australia don’t have personal identification numbers like Sweden it’s the Australian Tax Office’s (Australiensiska Skatteverket) way of identifying you.
Why do I need a TFN?
It’s not compulsary to quote your Tax File Number to anyone but as I discovered quickly when I recieved my first pay there are advantages to doing tell your employer for example. If you don’t have one you pay more tax than necessary and you may not be able to get government benefits you are entitled to receive. Since I don’t have a TFN yet I was charged the maximum tax rate 46.5% on my first pay. I would have been able to claim back the money in the end of the financial year (which is in July I think) but since I sort of need the money within a resonable future given that the move here been pretty expensive I asked my work to hold my pay until I have my TFN. Then I’ll be charged just over 20% tax instead of the outrageous 46.5%.
We’v also been advised that I can’t open a bank account without a TFN and I’m also pretty sure you can’t join a super fund (in Swedish pensionssparande) without one.
How do I apply?
It’s free to get a TFN and the easiest way to apply is online. Go to the following website and follow the instructions. http://australia.gov.au/service/tax-migrants-or-visitors-tax-file-number-application
How long does the process take?
You should receive your TFN no more than 28 days after the application is lodged and registered.The TFN will be sent to the postal address on your application. And this is exactly what I’m waiting on right now. It should arrive this week but with my luck I’m sure I’ll have to chase it up on Monday.
Our stuff was scheduled to be picked up by MoveCorp on Monday. On Thursday my brother just remembered he actually will be in Barcelona over the weekend and won’t be able to open up the apartment for the driver. Fail! I contacted MoveCorp in an attempt to possibly change the date but as expected that wasn’t possible. Luckily one of Anders’ friends was kind enough to help out and offer to open up the apartment. At that stage I was still a bit worried about the fact that it was a 19 meter long road-train that was going to come. Where would it be able to park? Read more
As I’ve mentioned earlier we decided to use a UK company shipping our belongings down to Melbourne. In discussions we had with MoveCorp prior to moving down here we were told that boxes would be picked up in the week commencing August 13th. The boxes are still in our old apartment which we do have access to and pay rent for until the end of August so even though the late pick up wasn’t ideal it would work. Last week when contacting MoveCorp again sorting out the final details we were informed that pick up will actually not happen until August 27th, the truck picking up the stuff will leave UK on the 13th. That’s the first we heard of this and we were not happy. That’s another 2 weeks delay and there is not much margin when it comes to the date either since we have to be out of the apartment by the end of August. Another issue that our contact kindly informed us of just last week is that the truck collecting our belongings actually is a 19 meter road train and that access needs to be good. You’re kidding me! Isn’t that something that might be good to mention a little earlier. Not sure how that will work since our apartment doesn’t allow for great access for road trains. We’re still waiting on feedback from the company so the story continues. It’s just typical, you solve one drama (the visa) and then another one comes along.